Women in Games

Women in Games expands Ambassador Programme adding 39 new Ambassadors

Women in Games is delighted to announce a significant expansion of its Ambassador Programmer under Ambassador Director, Gemma Johnson-Brown. We welcome in alphabetical order: Abbey Plumb, Anna Tang, Antonella Sassu, Becca Stabler, Charlotte Cook, Cisssy Biri, Clare Green, Dan Sun, Dominika Chorosinska, Elly Johnson, Esta Galih, Fiona Turner-Stone, Jade Summers, Jayd Matyas, Jennipher Judge, Jessica May, Justine Colla, Kalliopi Tsavari, Kira Summers, Laura Van de Mast, Lily Adams, Lily Gavin-Allen, Lisa Gobbi, Lisa Hagen Lie, Mags Donaldson, Marilena Papacosta, Melanie Zimmerman, Minna Wilke, Molly Shepherd-Boden, Nikolina Zidar, Rachel Gaskin, Robyn Murphy, Samantha Roach, Samra Halli, Soraya Javan, Sylvia Ulloque, Tracy Clark, Violet Adams and Zoe Sams. Representing a wide variety of skills and experience, all are committed to supporting women and girls in understanding the games industry and the opportunities there are within it. As the reach of the organisation expands internationally, new countries with an Ambassador representing Women in Games include Germany, Norway, Finland, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Gemma Johnson-Brown commented, “I am very proud and excited to be part of this fantastic and growing ambassadorial community, our ambassadors all work together to provide encouragement, support and advocate for women and girls throughout the games industry and educational pipeline. I am looking forward to the plethora of events our ambassadors are planning to be holding over the coming months.”

You can see the full list of Ambassadors including their location and job role, as well as how to apply if your are interested in joining our Ambassador team on this page.

Winners of the Women in Games European Awards 2019

Our awards are over for 2019. Congratulations to all the winners!

Winners of the Hall of Fame ( sponsored by 2K / Hangar 13)
Christina Myers
Catharina Bohler

Advocacy Award Winners (sponsored by Creative Assembly)
Women in Games France
Girls’ Game Lab
Womenize! Games and Tech

– Special mention to Autistica

Corporate Ambassador Winner (sponsored by Sumo Group)
2K/ Hangar 13

Individual Ambassador Winner (sponsored by Sumo Group)
Loukia Kyriakidou

– Special mention to Maria Fernandez-Hermida, Scarlett Fu and Nichole Gilroy, Laurence Bouvard, and Lucy Boxall.

Student Awards Winners ( sponsored by Fusebox Games)
Saskia Buente: LSE
Bethany Fox: Uni of Herts
Freddy Frydenlund: Royal College of Art
Lynn Goncalves: Falmouth Uni
Becky Saunders: Norwich Uni of the Arts
Katie Yang: Uni of Herts.

More official photos will follow shortly.

Ten Years On, What Does the Future Hold for Women in Games? Past, Present, Future

Women in Games has a 10-year history of addressing a range of important and progressive causes, with the overarching mission to “achieve full and lasting equality for all women throughout the games industry” Women in Games is a not-for-profit organisation built with the support of dedicated volunteers and a number of companies that have proactively and strategically engaged.

2019 has been a year of transformation for Women in Games. It has grown a dedicated global following and community to more than 20,000 supporters, and formed affiliate partnership organisations in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Sweden and Norway with more to launch later in the year.

The government shone a light on the work of Women in Games with CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman leading the diversity panel, providing expert witness at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry discussing “the UK e-sports industry and diversity in gaming and VR” held in June.

Momentum for the work of the organisation is being globally recognised and embraced by the games industry with many world-class studios stepping forward to partner with Women in Games.  Existing partners such as Hanger13/2K, Outplay and Dovetail Games continue to deepen their integration proving the value of their strategic alliance with Women in Games.

“The games industry is one that celebrates uniqueness and encourages individualism. It welcomes people from all walks of life and strives for greatness by promoting diversity and talent. It is important to continue improving the growing industry’s community by introducing more women to opportunities within games. Women in Games is an organisation which helps achieve this and uses the power of voice and collaboration to get this important point across.  It is proven that a diverse workplace fuels creativity and success by bringing more depth and perspective to the table, which is something that 2K and Hangar 13 promote throughout their studios.” says Rebecca Sampson, Studio Operations Manager

This year a number of important new conference sponsors, strategic partnerships and collaborations have been formed with global studios – Creative Assembly, Sumo Group, Ubisoft and Rockstar, all looking to progress their equality and diversity programme to realise the benefits, both to their businesses and to their employees.

“The work Women in Games does is incredibly valuable for inspiring, supporting and empowering diverse people within this global industry,” said Gareth Edmondson, Chief Operations Officer at Creative Assembly. “Our industry is making great progress and the right conversations are happening, but we need to continue pushing to ensure women and diverse talent across the board are represented and included.” 

“Sumo Group is delighted to join the Corporate Ambassador Programme and to sponsor the Women in Games Conference and Awards 2019. We are committed to addressing gender inequality in the video games industry by inspiring the next generation of female game developers to enter the industry and by ensuring that the women already working in games are empowered and supported to reach their potential. We are proud to support the WIG’s fantastic work and join the community of studios and organisations that share our commitment.” Says Karen McLoughlin, Group Director of HR

CJ Stockton, Head of Communications and Strategic Partnerships comments “Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Leamington has always been strongly committed to celebrating and promoting diversity in the workplace, so, it goes without saying that we are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the 2019 Women in Games HR Summit in London.  We’re also incredibly excited to be participating in this year’s Corporate Ambassador Programme, too.  We look forward to helping educate, inspire and empower women already working in the industry, and those looking to pursue careers in the industry.” 

So, what now?

Firstly, it’s the annual Women in Games European Conference taking place next week on the 11th/12th September at London College of Communication, UAL Elephant Castle, London — The core theme is ‘The Future of Women’ in the game industries, with strands on Play – Technology – Workplace –Education – Social Impact – Entrepeurnership. A dedicated HR Summit, Lab demonstrations and Awards. The exciting, creatively curated programme explores a wide range of pertinent areas and issues, bringing together world class speakers, in London College of Communication UAL, a world class University.

After that: 

“It’s full steam ahead to implement our vision of a games industry, culture and community free of gender discrimination, where full equality of opportunity, treatment and conditions empowers all women to achieve their full potential”, Marie-Claire continues “we have identified four core verticals of action: Policy, Education, Industry and Community these spaces enable us to engage with and coordinate activism across the sector nationally and internationally. With the growth of our strategic partnerships across games studios, with AHRC research initiatives and diversity collaborations with other organisations within the sector, such as Ukie and the BGI, we are positive significant and lasting change can be achieved. What’s absolutely crucial, is that we must all work together to form a strong, focused community capable of directing, implementing and sustaining lasting change.” 

Shortlists for the Women in Games Hall of Fame and Advocacy Awards and Awards Party 11 September

The Women in Games European Hall of Fame was created in 2011 to specially recognise the achievements of women in the European Games industry. Each year exceptional women are recognised at the Women in Games European Conference. Congratulations to Christina Myers, originally from Columbia and now based in the UK, Micaela Romanini from Italy, Audrey Leprince from France, Catharina Bøhler from Norway, Julie Chalmette from France and Dr Jo Twist from the UK, all shortlisted for the Women in Games European Hall of Fame. Please support and vote — maximum of 6 votes for 2 awards — you will need to register an account at
https://womeningames.awardsplatform.com/entry/vote/JAvmPXzK

Women in Games has a 10 year history of advocacy for gender equality, and through our work we encounter a wide range of advocacy organisations, which we are actively working with and keen to highlight and recognise.  Congratulations also to Autistica, GameDevForce from Stockholm, Gayming Magazine, Girls Game Lab, Women in Games France and Womenize! Games and Tech from Germany, all shortlisted for our Women in Games European Games Advocacy Awards on September 11th in London. 3 awards will be made on the night. Wish them luck!

Join the Women in Games Conference Party and Awards celebrating 10 years at the Ministry, 11 September. This year’s party and awards at The Ministry Events “White Space” 79 Borough Road, are just a short walk from the Conference which is at UAL: London College of Communication.
Women in Games are excited to hold this event as part of the conference in a stunning Victorian warehouse in the heart of Borough, London SE1 at a venue run by the Ministry of Sound, the world famous home of dance music.
Tickets to the party are included in the price of conference tickets available at  https://womeningamesconference.co.uk
A small number of tickets for this evening event can also be purchased separately.

Learn, Debate and Network with Women who are Innovating the Games Industry

The annual Women in Games European Conference returns for 2019 representing the diverse talent that exists in the games industry. This year over 50 leading speakers and panellists will deliver a mix of keynote speeches, panel discussions and workshops, coupled with the Women in Games Awards and 10th Anniversary Party.

As an inclusive event, the objective is to educate, inspire and empower those who currently work in games, those seeking to step into the industry and those participating in games education and re-search. This is the most exciting conference to date with a two-day agenda packed with insightful, collaborative, thought-provoking and celebratory activities, plus musical performances and plenty of networking!

The overarching theme for this year’s conference is The Future for Women focused on Play, The Workplace, Education, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Social Impact, alongside a half day HR Summit and Lab Demonstrations. The 2019 Game Beyond Entertainment BAFTA Winner, Sarepta Studios will keynote on day one along with curator, presenter and director — Ghislaine Boddington whose keynote is entitled Internet of Bodies: Alive, Collective and Connected.

CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman commented “We are tremendously proud of all achievements and resolutely dedicated in our mission to raise awareness, change attitudes, deliver impact and create conditions for women of all backgrounds, in our sector to achieve their full potential. We have built women in games into a leading games diversity organisation, recognised across Europe, with a global community of more than 20,000 across social media and our conference is an opportunity to bring that community together. We are pleased to bring back sponsors, particularly our Platinum Spon-sors 2K/Hangar13 who are committed to long term relationship with us and to welcome new, key partners across Europe. We are also delighted to be collaborating with our venue hosts the LCC Screen School, which brings film & television together with games, animation & sound art. University of the Arts (UAL), London is ranked 2nd in the world for Art & Design in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.”

10 years ago, Women in Games began showing us all the way to a more diverse future for the sector. 10 years later, they’re still leading the way.” Rick Gibson, CEO BGI

Women in Games has a 10-year history of addressing a range of important and progressive causes, which include equality, diversity, education, advancement and entrepreneurship. The organisation has been growing an Ambassador Programme for individuals and companies enabling them to build a strong community of action. Over the last few years they have strategically been supporting the development and launch of Women in Games organisations across Europe, the latest being Women in Games Norway that launched in June this year.

The exciting programme of the day’s events which is live and updating daily can be found at the conference website http://womeningamesconference.com

Women in Games appoint Jocasta Kelsey as Marketing Director, add three to its Advisory Board

Jocasta Kelsey

Angela Natividad

Women in Games is pleased to announce the appointment of Jocasta Kelsey as Marketing Director. Jocasta is a former Marketing Director for We R Interactive. She now works as a commercial consultant specialising in helping start-up, early stage and established businesses to achieve their potential. She has worked across a number of sectors including not for profit, immersive tech and gaming. Jocasta joins the 5 person, part time Executive Board that meets monthly to manage strategically the day-to-day activities of the organisation.

WIGJ has also appointed 3 new Advisory Board members.
Dr Sharon Tolaini-Sage is a Lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts who specialises in lecturing on the cultural, contextual and storytelling aspects of digital games. Already a successful Women in Games Ambassador, she has supported the organisation for a number of years.
Mark Eyles was until recently a Principal Lecturer and Section Leader in the School of Creative Technologies at the University of Portsmouth. He also founded the first Women in Games Conference in the UK in 2004. He remains an Educational Advisor to TIGA and has just launched his own studio, Ambient Quest Studios.
Angela Natividad joins to bring her esports expertise to the organisation. She has worked in advertising for over 15 years, both in agencies and as a journalist. In 2015 she co-founded Hurrah, the leading esports advertising agency, with the goal of attracting non-endemic clients to the space and helping the sector grow sustainably toward the mainstream. She also plays an international relations role for France Esports.

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented. “We welcome Jocasta, Angela, Sharon and Mark to the team. It is important for Women in Games to market itself consistently, at the highest level. Much of what we do has gone unreported and therefore unnoticed due to lack of this resource. Jocasta brings us extensive experience in not for profit and technology marketing and we look forward to her helping us professionalise our messaging moving forward. The addition of Sharon and Mark reflects the commitment of Women in Games in supporting the Games Education sector to collaborate more closely and effectively with Games Development. We plan further exciting initiatives in esports and Angela will help us impact and lead in this growing field.”

Women in Games speaks to UK Government at its Inquiry into Immersive and Addictive technologies

Women in Games WIGJ spent 75 minutes on Wednesday, 24th April talking to the UK Government at its Inquiry into Immersive and Addictive technologies, speaking about diversity in gaming and esports. Here is the final question of the day where CEO, Marie-Claire Isaaman, responds to Damian Collins, MP who asks about the resources of Women in Games and the level of support it receives from the sector. Please contact us if you would like to learn how your company can support Women in Games.

Women in Games starts celebration of 10 year anniversary with a Party at GDC – sponsored by 2K.

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of Women in Games WIGJ, working to advocate for diversity, inclusion and the representation of women in the games industry. WIGJ is proud to co-host its first formal event in North America with Corporate Ambassador, 2K at GDC 2019 and is keen to meet all its friends in the USA and San Francisco on Wednesday March 20th.

Both David Smith founder of WIGJ, and Marie-Claire Isaaman CEO, will be present, and Marie-Claire will be speaking to kick things off. 2K is proud to sponsor this event to celebrate this major anniversary with WIGJ, and the accomplishments of the many talented women across the games industry at large.

There will be a photobooth, open bar, prizes and giveaways including signed copies of the fabulous book “Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play” by Megan Marie.

With over 28000 game developers attending GDC, this event will be sold out in hours but, up to the event, you can try this link. But look out for more 10 year anniversary events in 2019 including the Develop Conference in Brighton, UK in July and the European Women in Games Conference in London, UK September.

Women in Games appoints Executive Board and seeks to hire a Marketing Director and Events Manager.

Women in Games WIGJ is pleased to announce the creation of an Executive Board that will meet monthly to manage strategically the day-to-day activities of this not-for-profit group as well as a newly revitalised Advisory Board which will meet quarterly. An organisational review has identified two vacancies and Women in Games will be hiring a Marketing Director and an Events Manager.

Gemma Johnson-Brown

Gemma Johnson Brown, Chief People Officer, Dovetail Games is promoted to the Executive Board and is appointed as the new Ambassador Director. She will be leading on both the Individual and Corporate Ambassadors programme. Dovetail Games have been a supporter and sponsor of our Women in Games events for the last three years. Gemma has been given full support and backing from Dovetail Games in her role.

Ruth Falconer

Professor Ruth Falconer, Head of Division (Computing and Mathematics), School of Design and Informatics, Abertay University is also promoted to the Executive Board. She will contribute her outstanding expertise in the areas of education, research and public relations. Ruth has the full support of Abertay University, which has been ranked the best in Europe for undergraduate level games courses in the prestigious annual Princeton Review.

Women in Games was founded in 2009 by David Smith who joins the Executive Board as COO. This year the organisation will be celebrating a ’10 Year Anniversary’. The European Women in Games Conference 2019 will be a very special event, celebrating the achievements of Women in Games, and looking forward to how the organisation continues to make impactful positive change.

 

Together with CEO, Marie-Claire Isaaman, the four person Executive Board now seek a Marketing Director and Events Manager to join the team. The Marketing Director will set and implement the Marketing and PR strategy and framework for the organisation and set the marketing plan for the European Women in Games Conference and other programme and events. The Events Manager will manage the organisation of regular, monthly events for members in London and the South East of the UK and advise on events all over the UK and in Europe, liaising with the WIGJ Ambassador network. Both are part-time, paid roles. Anyone interested in the Marketing Director or Events Manager role should click though on the links. WIGJ looks forward to hearing from you.

The Women in Games Advisory Board consists of Christine Bigelow, 2K; Dan Wood, Ukie; Kish Hirani, BAME in Games; Marine Cabour, Russells; Michelle Tilley, Sony Interactive Entertainment; Nick Ferguson, Amazon; Rachael Gregg-Smythe, Cubic Motion; Rachel Moss, J Walter Thompson; Rosemary Ball, Chucklefish; Rupert Whitehead, Google; Simon Smith, Thumbfood & Gameopolis; Siobhan Thomas, IGDA London; and Vanessa Joyce, Renwick Management.

Marie-Claire Isaaman

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO Women in Games, commented “Women in Games has been a grassroots organisation relying on goodwill, ad hoc sponsorship donations and the tireless efforts of volunteers who believe in our cause and want to help. I personally want to thank everyone who has supported us and contributed so much over the years. But you can only get so far on goodwill alone. Therefore we are focused on building an organisation capable of delivering deeds as well as words and the creation of the Executive Board and revised Advisory Board is one of the many steps the organisation is taking to achieve this”.

2019, WIGJ’s 10th anniversary year, is going to be a transformative one for Women in Games with so many exciting events and meaningful initiatives underway and planned. Women in Games is dedicated to supporting the game industries in creating an equal, diverse and inclusive sector for everyone.

 

Women in Games launch 3rd year of Ambassador programme with 16 new Ambassadors

Women in Games is pleased to announce that Antonella Sciarrilo, Bethany White, Caoimhe Roddy, Emma Cowling, Jessica Harris, Kaliegh Branham, Kevin, Agwaze, Laura de Castro, Louise Jackson, Marina Diez Pereiro, Megan Zoe Garrett, Natalie Winter, Robin Milton, Scarlet Fu and Searra Dodds have joined the WIGJ Ambassador programme. All the new Ambassadors attended the last European Women in Games Conference in September to hear presentations on events organised by our existing Ambassadors. This new tranche of 16 individual was approved by the WIGJ Board in December.

Ambassadors volunteer to support girls and women in understanding the game industries and the opportunities there are within it. They also help Women in Games increase the reach and scale of its programmes and help it achieve the strategic goal of doubling the number of women in games over 10 years.

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented, “We are delighted to welcome our 16 new Ambassadors to the programme. Our Ambassadors enable Women in Games to reach out to enable many more girls and women to learn about the many exciting jobs and careers that exist within games. We are already discussing some innovative projects and events with Ambassadors for 2019. Ambassadors are encouraged to reach out to their companies and local communities all over the UK and in parts of Europe.”

Women in Games is also pleased to announce that Gemma Johnson-Brown, Chief People Officer at Dovetail Games, has been appointed WIGJ Ambassador Director. Gemma will be the main point of contact for all Ambassadors moving forward. We thank Martine Spaans for all the work she has done as Ambassador Coordinator for the last year.

See our full list of 67 Ambassadors on our Ambassador page. This tells you more about the programme and how to reach out to all of our Ambassadors.

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